While Macs have never been game-free—we may have matched a few tiles once upon a time—the relative abundance of games on Windows and consoles have made Mac-using nerds feel ghettoized since pretty much forever. There are plenty more casual games available on Macs (and, super-duh, on iPhones) these days, but Mac-owning hardcore gamers generally buy a console, run a virtual Windows machine, or bite the bullet and get a secondary Windows box.
After a week or so of teasing, Bellevue's Valve Corporation (the folks behind Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, and other alarmingly popular titles) announced yesterday that it's bringing Steam, its popular gaming service, to the Mac. Steam offers an intimidating array of new and classic games for download, from the original Fallout and Psychonauts to Star Trek Online and Mass Effect 2, sometimes for super-cheap. Steam's got issues, including privacy concerns, serious conflict of interest, and no guarantee of continuity, but for Mac-owning gamers, this is still good news.
Oh, and they're making Portal 2. The pre-launch announcement/alternate-reality game starts here.
- This is funnier if you are old.
The Stranger Testing Department is Rob Lightner and Paul Hughes.